I have a brain storm that I came up with, and I want to put it into action next Spring, but I'm not sure on some things, so I'm looking for some help or advice.

I'm going to take a set of standard garden tractor rims (7" x 12" rears / 3 1/2" x 8" fronts) and cut the faces out of all four of them, leaving me with the round band. For the rears, I have 3/16" think x 6" diameter x 4" length steel pieces of pipe (from interior basketball backstop supports) to use as the rear hubs, and will have rods welded into them, and the other end of the rods welded to the rim bands. Inside the pipe, will be a round steel disk that will be drilled for the lug nut layout to fit the hubs of my Deeres.

As for the fronts, after I cut the face out of the rims, I will then cut the hubs out of the faces, so that I can reuse them to mount the rims after the rods are all welded into place. Confused yet? Basically, I'm wanting to make a set of round spoked rims for one of my garden tractors, and I want them to have rubber tires instead of cleats.

My questions are this. First, what size rods would you use to make the spokes? I was thinking of using 3/8" round stock, but something is telling me to go with 1/2". What's your thoughts? Second question is, how many rods do you think I should use for the back rims, and how many should I use for the fronts? Third question is, I want the rods welded into the hubs and rim bands on angles to look like the old farm tractor rims, but what formula do I use in determining the degree of the angles?

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Thank you.